How to avoid burn-out when you’re overloaded

“Breathe in, breathe out, in, out, in”… I keep saying in my mind after glancing at my to-do list. I’m not in the Hunger Games, but suddenly I feel like the paper in front of me did put me into the middle of the game. The list’s not as long as The China Wall, but it’s getting there. Ambition isn’t short list-friendly, is it?

“You have as many hours a day as Beyonce, so sorry, no excuses” I remind myself, but my anxiety doesn’t like logic, so it ignores the hour part and replies with “she just woke up like this”.

Source/copyrights: giphy.com
Source/copyrights: giphy.com

I keep doing everything I can to… focus on something that is not on my list. Suddenly, all that is left of my beautiful productive plans in the evil list that burned me down. All jokes aside, the list could say “It’s not me. It’s you.” and that would be truth. Everything lies in the mind, and mine wants to defeat me.

Some people are more prone to burn-out than others, but it can probably happen to anyone at any stage of life. It has happened to me before, and believe me, it wasn’t pretty. The more ambitious you are the more burn-out can hurt you, but generally, it’s like a furious, betrayed woman – up to no good.

Since I had to learn how to avoid burn-out and make my life a bit easier here are my tips on how to avoid burn-out when you’re overloaded!

blog graphic - howtoavoidburnout

  1. Decide what’s important for you

Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, from my experience, it is not. We are bombed with tons of different content and possibilities, and sometimes it gets difficult to choose what we want to focus on when everything looks interesting. As you might know, I love podcasts, and I subscribe to many of them. The problem is that each and every of them is interesting, so I end up wanting to listen to every episode. Is it realistic, smart and achievable? Absolutely not, because I have an actual  life to live.

How I solved my little problem? I chose what was the most important for me, and decided to listen to other podcasts if I have free time.

 

       2. Step back from your work when you feel overwhelmed

A 20-minute walk, a few minutes of break to have your cup of tea or a quick yoga session can make wonders for your well-being and ease the tension within you that keeps building up, up, up with every extra thing to work on. It’s better to spend half an hour relaxing than hours fighting with anxiety that’s likely to appear if you don’t let yourself breathe. As they say: a stitch in time saves nine.

   3. Take breaks

Even if you don’t feel overwhelmed, it’s good to take breaks at least every hour. The highly recommended Pomodoro technique includes 25 minutes of work, and then 5 minutes of a break, but I know people who like an hour of work + a 10-minute break system more. Do whatever works for you, but don’t ignore the importance of breaks, because you risk that your brain will ignore you later.

    4. Prioritize

Let’s say you have already decided what’s important for you. Good job, but let’s not stop here! Important things probably also have their own hierarchy of importance. Choose the ultimate queen of your “very-important” list and prioritise everything accordingly to boost your productivity.

   5. Think long-term

When you get overloaded with work and want to give it all up think about your ultimate, long-term goal rather than the emotions you experience in the given moment. It will help you to get some perspective on the situation. Also, if you push yourself too hard when you know you’re on the edge of meltdown think of consequences. Will one day of work make a big difference to your long-term goal or can you afford to unwind for a moment? Weight pros and cons and make your decision carefully.

6. Motivate yourself

It’s easy to get burn-out when the goal we work towards seems too distant, almost impossible. It’s worth to ask yourself  these questions: why did I start in the first place? How will I feel when I have accomplished the goal? It may remind us about the ultimate reason behind it all and work as a motivator. Youtube motivational videos or Instagram quotes could also do the job, even though personal motivational will always beat them, since it’s… ours.

7. Reward yourself for your hard work from time to time

A little reward for your hard work might reduce the stress connected to your workload. Allow yourself to go out with your friends, buy that dress or see this place you saw on the map only. It will give your life more colors, and probably inspire you to keep going.  Balance’s everything.

8. Leave some space for mistakes

Perfection’s a good friend of burn-out since they’re closely connected. The need to be always 100% perfect drains your energy like a professional energy vampire. It’s nearly impossible, or at least extremely hard, to always be 100% productive. Luckily here comes 80/20 rule. It’s very popular all over the internet and applies to different areas of life. I remember the model Miranda Kerr saying that she uses 80/20 rule in keeping fit, so it’s universal. The rule is simple: for 80% of times you’ll stay on track, the remaining 20% is your space for mistakes. This way you won’t beat yourself up every time you aren’t less than 100% efficient.

 

Here are all my tips for avoiding burn-out, but I thought you might like to see my ultimate 12 ways to unwind. Let me know if they work for you too, and feel free to write  your own suggestions in the comment section, since sharing (your knowledge) is caring. 🙂 

 

Go to new placesTry a new hobbyMeet new peopleAdopt a puppyEat healthy

 

Remember you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and now also on Snapchat – papercoffeestr! 

May productivity be with You,

Jessie

 

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The Mind Zone: Why gratitude is magic

There are days when everything becomes bleak and hopeless. The rain feels like hailing, people are overly rude in the store and you’ve just destroyed your favorite pair of shoes.  You start to think “wait, my life sucks” and suddenly the chances of having a good day are gone. Sounds familiar? It used to happen to me quite often, and I couldn’t do anything, but agree to give all my joy away. At least I thought I couldn’t. Turns out I was wrong. We can train our minds just like we can our bodies, and it makes  us a force to be reckoned with in The Game of Good Days.

I can say from my own experience that gratitude is one of the easiest ways to feel instantly better about everything in our lives.  If you want to discover magic, let yourself discover gratitude! More about gratitude, how to befriend it and why it’s worth it, below! 🙂

blogtitle%2F%2Fthe mind zone- why gratitude is magic

First of all, it’s very easy to overlook good things happening in our lives. Why? We get used to them, and negativity draws more attention. Maybe that is human nature. Seldom do they report good news on TV –  they report accidents, tragedies, and drama: they all sell more. This is why it’s not difficult to fall victim to negativity, become a serial complainer and forget  about good things in our lives. Here are 3 reasons why I think gratitude is magic…

  • It gives you a new perspective on things

Let’s say Jane Doe thought  “Oh well, I am a failure because I didn’t pass one exam and I don’t really have much money in my wallet”. She brings herself down and comes to one conclusion: “my life is terrible”. She may be – must be! – in a bad mood after all these thoughts. If Jane only reminded herself “Well, I can retake my exam, and there’s a yummy cupcake in my refrigerator. Oh and my sister’s coming soon, we’ll have so much fun!” she would be probably having a pretty good day. Why? Well,  despite some unpleasant things happening there was still something nice to look forward to, to be grateful for. See –  gratitude’s a game changer because it shifts your focus from negativity to positivity.

  • The idea behind it is not complicated

You don’t need to know any specific techniques to make it work. You just need to think about things you are grateful for. You can make a list out of them in your notebook or phone, but you could also leave them just inside your head if it works better for you. Personally, I would recommend you to do lists, though. Somehow the written word seems to hold more power to it. Plus, you won’t forget it.

  • It’s a game changer but  doesn’t cost a penny

The gratitude treatment won’t leave you broke because it doesn’t cost a penny. It just takes a little bit effort to change your thoughts and your attitude. Also, there are many free apps for daily guidance, if you need one. Wouldn’t it be good to change your thoughts by changing your perspective? My answer would be YES!

 

Now, let me mention the app I use for gratitude exercises. Yes, I called them exercises, because your mind’s also a muscle, perhaps even more demanding than your regular muscles, too.   The app is called “Bliss” and you can download it for free. It is handy for more than gratitude, though. Some of its sections are called: “Best possible future”, “Gratitude Exercises”, “Could be worse”, “Honoring people”, “Three Good things” and “Transforming Problems”. If I were to rate it, it easily gets 5 from me! 🙂 

What about you? What are your favorite ways to make your day better? Do you practice gratitude? Let me know in comments, I would be happy to hear more about you! 

See you next week in The Language Zone! Have a lovely week, guys. 🙂

Yours truly, 

Jessie